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Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Busy Spring with More to Come


As we close out spring and welcome the beginning of summer, I'd like to take a few moments to let people know all that Operation Blazing Sword and Pink Pistols have accomplished lately.


Training and Education
Operation Blazing Sword continues its pattern of teaching, on average, at least one queer person how to safely operate a firearm every other week. The "at least" disclaimer is important here, as OBS does not require its students to out themselves before our volunteers will teach them due to the immense social pressure against firearm ownership within the queer community. Therefore, it is entirely possible that we trained more than 26 people last year; a number closer to 50 is more likely, and perhaps even more than that.

Outreach
This is another core component of our mission, because if people don't know we exist then we can't help them. In April I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Mary Washington's Second Amendment Day (you can see video of my presentation here), and one of the attendees was a young gay man named Beau who wanted to learn use firearms for self defense and who wanted to know more, yet was at a loss regarding how to proceed. As a result of his questions, the father of the young woman who ran the 2A Day event offered him his services, which is more impressive than it sounds because her father, Michael Johns, is the rangemaster for the NRA range in Fairfax!

Additionally, we held a raffle for a range day and one of the winners donated their prize to Beau! So now Beau is going to get exceptional training by some of the best instructors in the business, all absolutely free of charge. I cannot and will not take full credit for this -- I didn't make Mr. Johns offer to comp his range time, nor did I make the raffle winner give his prize away, those are both amazing acts of kindness and generosity that belong solely to those people -- but I feel safe in saying that had I not been a speaker, Beau wouldn't have attended (he told me as much) and if he hadn't attended he wouldn't have asked those questions, and if he hadn't asked then he wouldn't have gotten the help he wanted.

Gun Laws
Since Operation Blazing Sword is a 501c3, we cannot agitate politically (endorsing a candidate or denouncing another) without endangering our nonprofit status. However, what we can do is speak out against ridiculous firearms laws, such as New York City's draconian ban on transportation of lawfully owned firearms. To that end, the Pink Pistols -- a division of Operation Blazing Sword since September 2018 -- filed an amicus curae brief in favor of the plaintiff, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA). I encourage you to read the entire writ as it's extremely well-written and reads quickly, but in case you don't have time, here are the amazing concluding paragraphs:



Pulse Anniversary
I will close out this post with thoughts on the tragedy which started OBS by Gwen Patton.

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